With Council Speaker Corey Johnson set to move on from his job representing Manhattan’s District 3, both because of term limits and his anticipated run for mayor, Johnson’s chief of staff Erik Bottcher has filed his candidacy to take over the spot.
Bottcher has been Johnson’s Chief of Staff since 2015. The upstate native, who moved to the city in 2001 and has also been an advocate for gay rights and tenant rights, is vowing not to accept contributions from real estate developers, lobbyists or from corporate political action committees.
Bottcher told this paper that in mid-February his campaign met the requirements, based on number of in-district donors and amount of money raised, to qualify for the city’s Public Finance Program.
“Serving the people of Council District 3 these past five years has been the honor and privilege of a lifetime,” said Bottcher when his candidacy was filed. “I’m excited by the opportunity to continue this work – and take it to the next level. Over the next year and a half I look forward to speaking with thousands of residents about what they want for their neighborhood, our community and the city we love. I firmly believe that no problem is too big to solve when you give communities a voice and a seat at the table.”
Council District 3 runs along the West Side and includes Hudson Square, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen and the Garment District. Along with Bottcher’s intentions to hear what residents want for the area, he noted in his announcement certain key issues that require attention and solutions, including homelessness, income inequality and lack of affordability.
Johnson has thrown his support behind Bottcher, saying, “Erik is hardworking, smart, kind, funny, compassionate and has the biggest heart. He has dedicated a better part of his life to public service and has helped countless New Yorkers. The City of New York and the West Side of Manhattan can’t do better than Erik.”
There are already other possible candidates for the District 3 seat, as noted by The City, including community activist Marni Halasa, district leader Arthur Schwartz, as first reported by The Village Sun, and an expected Republican candidate. Bottcher has also gotten support thus far from President of the NYCHA Elliot-Chelsea Tenants Association Darlene Waters, who said that Bottcher cares about the community.
“Erik is always there for us,” said Waters in a statement. “I’m supporting him because he really cares and he has always delivered. I can’t wait to have him as our Council Member and I’m excited to help him get elected.”